Atlanta tops list of Mosquito CitiesAn Asian Tiger mosquito. Photo provided by Orkin.
Memorial Day is the unofficial start to summer, and that means more time outside … and more bugs. A new list says Atlanta is number one when it comes to the Top Mosquito Cities.
Atlanta-based Orkin, a pest control company, put out the rankings in a press release. Orkin said it ranked cities by the number of mosquito customers serviced last year.
Nine Southeast cities were in the top 20 ranking. The press release said, “June, July and August are prime mosquito months in most areas. Because of warmer temperatures in the southern part of the United States, the season can extend from April to October, but mosquitoes affect people in every state in the U.S.”
Mosquito bites can transmit all types of diseases. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports the West Nile virus is the most commonly transmitted to humans by mosquitoes. The CDC says prevention is key and suggests these steps.
- Apply insect repellent on exposed skin and clothing when you go outdoors. Use an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)-registered insect repellent. Permethrin sprayed on clothing provides protection through several washes. Don’t spray repellent on skin under clothing and don’t use permethrin on skin.
- Cover up! Wear long sleeve shirts and long pants and socks while outdoors to prevent mosquito bites.
- Avoid mosquitoes. The mosquitoes that spread West Nile virus bite between dusk and dawn. Limit the amount of time you spend outdoors during these hours. If you are outside, be sure to wear repellent and protective clothing.
- Support your local community mosquito control programs. Mosquito control activities are most often handled at the local level, such as through county or city government. The type of mosquito control methods used by a program depends on the time of year, the type of mosquitoes to be controlled, and the habitats where the mosquitoes live. Methods can include eliminating mosquito larval habitats, applying insecticides to kill mosquito larvae, or spraying insecticides from trucks or aircraft to kill adult mosquitoes. Your local mosquito control program can provide information about the type of products being used in your area. Check with your local health department for more information.
The same prevention tips apply to the chikungunya virus, a mosquito-borne disease that was reported in the U.S. for the first time last year.